A ''one-stop-shop'' approval process for offshore petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters is a step closer following an agreement on a strategic assessment of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority’s (NOPSEMA) current environmental management processes.
for oil exploration
Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane said the environmental impacts of offshore petroleum activities are currently regulated under both the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 and the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.
“This dual assessment, monitoring and enforcement creates duplication and is an unnecessary burden on business without any additional environmental protection benefits,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The Government has prioritised this strategic assessment so that NOPSEMA’s environmental regulation can be recognised as meeting the requirements of the EPBC Act without additional referral or approval required from a separate Commonwealth regulator.”
Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt said the outcome of the strategic assessment would deliver faster environmental approvals, reduce duplication in environmental assessments and regulation, promote Australian industry and protect employment while maintaining the integrity of the environmental approvals process.
“This is part of the overall policy to create a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals and follows the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Queensland as the first stage in this process.”
Mr Hunt said the strategic assessment would be robust and transparent, including public consultation on the draft strategic assessment report, to be released in late 2013.
Edition 385, 29 October 2013